WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – For the fourth year in a row, the Brandeis University women's soccer team has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament, as the Judges picked up three second-half goals to defeat Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks, 3-1, at Williams College. Brandeis improves to 12-4-4 and will meet the 6th-ranked hosts tomorrow at 1 p.m. Stevens, ranked 16th in Division III, ends its season at 11-4-4.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The first half featured back-and-forth play but no scoring. The Judges outshot Stevens, 7-4, but the Ducks had a 3-1 edge in shots on goal.
- Brandeis's best attempt came in the 18th minute when senior Samantha Schwartz (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) hit the crossbar.
- The second half was more of the same, with the Judges finally breaking through in the 51st minute. Schwartz tracked down a ball on the Stevens end-line and sent a high cross into the box. Junior Sasha Sunday (Bethlehem, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) was there to head it home for her team-leading ninth goal of the season.
- Brandeis added a key insurance goal in the 77th minute. Senior forward Haliana Burhans (Charlotte, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) and junior midfielder Sam Volpe (Groton, Mass./Groton) combined on a counter-attack after a Duck turnover. After Burhans led Volpe with a diagonal ball, Volpe returned the favor to Burhans at the right side of the goal box. Burhans lofted a tight angle shot for her fifth goal of the season.
- Stevens sophomore Gabby Saade, who had a team-high six shots on the day, got one back for the Ducks in the 86th minute.
- Brandeis answered 1:23 later. Sophomore Emma Spector (Needham, Mass./Needham) challenged a charging Stevens goalkeeper and deflected the ball into the open net. It was Spector's first collegiate goal.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Brandeis grad student goalkeeper Frankie Pinto (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) earned her first career win with five saves. Pinto joined the team in mid-October when the Judges were in search of an emergency keeper.
- Lindsey Mahnken suffered the loss despite making five saves of her own.
- The Judges were only the second team all season to score more than one goal against the Ducks.
- With her assist, Schwartz became the 10th player in Brandeis history with 70 career points.
NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE
- The Judges advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year and fifth time in the last six.
- Brandeis will look to make its third-straight Sweet 16.
- Brandeis will take on No. 6 ranked and host Williams College tomorrow at 1 p.m.
- The Ephs defeated Lesley, 2-0, in the first game today.
- Brandeis and Williams have met once previously in the postseason, a 6-0 win by the Ephs in the second round in 2010.